MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown High’s boys swim team finished Part I of its season in style, defeating the Bristol Cooperative team of Eastern, Central and St. Paul, 96-79, at the Baldwin-Parmelee Pool Tuesday afternoon in the regular season finale.
With a big lead after 10 events, Middletown coach Trevor Charles opted to swim the last two events as exhibitions. Had he not, Middletown would have won the meet 115-65.
After a spectacular 13-2 regular season, the Blue Dragons move on to Part II, the league postseason this weekend with the Central Connecticut Conference South Division championship meet at Bulkeley High in Hartford. Part III is the state Class M and State Open meets in mid-March.
“I’m very happy with where we are,” said Charles, whose season was highlighted by wins over East Lyme, Conard, Hall, Farmington, Wethersfield and Xavier.
“We had a ton of close meets, more than in any season I can remember, and we won them all. That says a lot for our kids. We lost to two teams [Glastonbury and South Windsor] in which we had no chance, but every other time we were challenged we won. So 13-2 is the best we could have hoped for.”
Charles was also happy with his team’s performance Tuesday.
“We’re in the middle of Hell Week in which we swim 13,000 plus tough yards a day and we have double sessions,” said Charles. “The kids will be in at 5 a.m. tomorrow and after school.
“A light went on for a bunch of them today. I bet they came in after all the practice time thinking they were going to stink today, yet we had best times all over the place.”
The meet was no contest. Even though Charles mixed and matched some of his swimmers, the Dragons led throughout. The 200-yard medley relay team of Anthony Grenier, Evan Dunn, Jack Doherty and Peter Flynn got MHS off to a 10-4 lead, and that was followed by Doherty’s six-second win in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:54.17.
Doherty also won the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 53.06 seconds to finish undefeated in dual meet competition for the season.
“It’s kind of sad that this is the last time I’ll swim competitively in this pool,” Doherty said. “The four years have gone by so fast.”
But now comes Parts II and III of his final season.
“I think I’m where I want to be with all the hard work of practice,” Doherty said. “I think I’m in a good spot, but we’ll see when a taper and shave. I don’t have any real goals, I really don’t know about those things yet.”
Middletown’s Evan Dunn won the 200-yard individual medley (2:15.50) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.18), which was the last home individual race of his high school career
“That was very exciting,” said Dunn. “To touch the wall first in my last race and the team’s last individual race was an awesome feeling. But I think the team is more than ready for the postseason. Even through Hell Week, we have been putting up best times. I’m very happy where I am and am looking forward to the postseason.
“It’s great to swim against the best. I love the breaststroke, even though I haven;t been swimming it for a long time. I can’t wait for the postseason.”
Charles said that having Dunn swim the breaststroke is a bit of a surprise. “We hadn’t used him there and now, next to Jack of course, he is our best breaststroker,” he said.
Middletown led 46-26 after freshman Tyler Wenzel won diving with a score of 202.9 points, then poured it on from there. The Dragons went 1-2 in the butterfly with Matt Joy taking second behind Doherty.
When the Dragons won the 500-yard freestyle behind Tim Joy’s 24-second win in a time of 5:36.78, Middletown was out of sight at 75-45.
After MHS went 1-2 in the 200-freestyle relay — the winning team was Chris Amleto, Grenier, Flynn and Doherty — and 2-3-4 in the 100-yard backstroke that gave his team a 96-54 lead, Charles went unofficial for the final two events.
Weston Marshall won the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles for the Bristol Co-op with times of 23.75 seconds and 53.07 seconds respectively. Griffin McGowan won the 100-yard backstroke for Bristol in a time of 1:00.28.
Bristol also won the 400-yard freestyle relay with a team of Marshall, McGowan, Elijah Ortiz and Cameron Reed in a time of 3:50.10.
Middletown’s two divers, Wenzel and Tahj Mitchell, will compete in the CCC-South diving on Thursday at Bulkeley at 5 p.m. The South swimming championships begin Saturday at noon.